The bruises on Maria Árnadóttir's body were numerous, ranging in color from pale yellow to deep purple. According to court documents, the injuries were caused by Árnadóttir's boyfriend throwing her around the room while trying to wrestle her phone away from her after she threatened to call the police. For days after the attack, Árnadóttir struggled to breathe. Eventually, she ended up in the emergency room, the documents say. Speaking quietly in her apartment in the suburbs of Reykjavik, she told CNN the man had attacked her before, but never as viciously as he did on that occasion in July 2016.
"I really thought I was dying. He was pulling me and throwing me around. I thought 'I am going to die today,'" she said. Months later, she says she worked up the courage to go to the police, submitting photos of her injuries, medical notes, a list of witnesses to the violence and psychological abuse she was subjected to, as well as text messages from her alleged attacker, by then her ex-boyfriend, in which Árnadóttir says he admitted to the assault and threatened to share nude photos of her if she spoke up. A court filing includes all of these documents.